When to Hire a Structural Engineer

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Construction projects require the right team to ensure the completion of the project with accuracy and integrity. Structural engineers offer vital insight throughout the construction process, including the design, planning, and execution of the project

At Russell Rowland, we support construction projects of all sizes, from large-scale commercial projects to small home remodels. We work with industry professionals, such as general contractors, architects, and interior designers to provide expert knowledge on structural design and safety. Clients may also hire us directly for structural engineering services.

The Role of a Structural Engineer

A structural engineer uses their knowledge, experience and training to aid in the design and construction process to ensure the structural integrity of both new construction and existing property upgrades. Structural engineers bring valuable expertise to every construction project, without which the project risks failure.

  • Design – Structural engineers provide insight into building design. They work together with architects and general contractors to include structural design elements that provide the foundational integrity for construction while still maintaining the aesthetic design.
  • Review – Structural engineers review soil conditions for new construction to determine the best structural support for the project design. In addition, they assess and review the project goals for remodels and additions to aid in the structural planning.
  • Manage – Along with the general contractor, structural engineers recommend the best building materials to ensure the soundness of the completed project. In addition, they offer detailed understanding of construction requirements to ensure the project meets local codes and safety standards.

The Project Type Influences the Need for Structural Engineering

The type of construction project determines the level of input required from a structural engineer. Even a small home remodel may compromise structural integrity if the design requires walls or other structural elements to move. For example, relocating the HVAC system to the attic for better hurricane mitigation may impact the loading required for the roof framing.

For additions, a structural engineer assesses the existing structure in conjunction with the project plan to advise on the feasibility of the new structure. For example, adding a carriage house on top of an existing garage requires an investigation into the  construction and weight bearing capacity of the existing garage walls.

Structural engineers also offer valuable insight into hurricane mitigation requirements for new construction. Homes within Hurricane prone regions require a specialized structural engineer skilled in wind loads and hurricane mitigation to protect your property and positively impact insurance premiums.

Not working with a structural engineer costs more in the long run. If the project fails to meet required Building codes or requires repairs after project completion, the cost is greater to fix those errors than investing in structural components from the start. A quality architect or general contractor understands when to consult with a structural engineer.

How to Know When Your Project Needs the Help of a Structural Engineer

Ultimately, the property owner benefits by understanding when to hire a structural engineer. In fact, starting your project with a structural engineering consultation provides insight into the scope and reality of the project requirements. If you are already working with a general contractor, ask how and when they include structural engineers as part of the project.

Projects to Hire a Structural Engineer:

  • Renovations
  • Additions
  • Structural assessments
  • New construction
  • Commercial property upgrades
  • Tenant improvements

What to Expect from Russell Rowland

At Russell Rowland, we offer structural engineering services to clients throughout the Southeast from our headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida. Clients trust us to provide sound results to protect their property through expert structural design.

Count on Russell Rowland for:

  • Expert service
  • Prioritized client communication
  • Value engineering
  • Efficient processes
  • Quick turnarounds

Contact us to learn more about structural engineering for your next construction project.